A pediatrician friend of mine saw N and I walking home from the park and after taking one look at his legs said, “wow, now those are the marks of a good summer.” His legs are speckled with bug bites, scrapes, and dirt at any given moment. My husband was once asked on the playground whether or not our son had chickenpox, which reminded us that we needed to buy a stronger insect repellant.
As I look at his little legs though I agree with my colleague and remember the scraped knees and bruises of my own childhood summers. His legs tell a story of a child who spends most of his time playing outside. He is swimming, riding bikes, climbing, digging in dirt, and playing soccer. And while we lather him in sunscreen and insect repellant, he is still bound to get a tan and some bites just from the number of hours he spends outdoors. I don’t like him to take too many risks, but there is also something to be said for letting children play and learn (with adult supervision and guidance). I am happy to say that he has cumulatively watched no more than 15 minutes of television this entire summer (YouTube videos of trucks not included). When the weather forces us inside, we play with trains, color, or cook. It’s been an active Summer, full of imagination and adventure.
So as the Summer wraps up, we may have a few new scars, bumps on the head, and tan lines, but we have memories to go along with each one that will last a lifetime.